May the wind stay at my back and may angels give me wings to fly.

I started avidly running in April of 2007, 8 weeks after my little boy was born. I was only running about 15 miles a week just to lose baby weight but a friend of mine was thinking of running the Honolulu Marathon. I made the bold move of doing it with her with the simple goal of just to finish. I finished my first marathon in 2008 with a time of 5:13. In 2009 I started running more miles, up to 40 a week when my schedule would allow that much. I signed up for my second Honolulu marathon and finished with a time of 4:48. That was with only 6 weeks of training, two of them being taper weeks. I finished with tears of joy and one other thing, the strong desire to run every runner's dream...BOSTON! I have some real good days and some real bad days but I hope someone finds inspiration in my spirit and strength. If you dig deep enough you will find the strength to do whatever your heart desires. "Don't follow your dreams...CHASE THEM!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Livin on a Prayer"

I titled this week such because that song happened to be playing my last mile today. Mile 13, "halfway there" to a BQ. Last weekend was one with self doubt but I had set my mind to go with my heart for this week. Well, it worked. My brain and legs are finally working together in the same direction--speed! Every single run this week was either at or below my MGP of 8:35 and that is WITH warm ups. I did hills and flats on each run and did about 8:20-8:35 going up and around 7-7:30 going back down and once I went down my legs seemed to want to keep the pace and I hung around a 8-8:15 most of the time. Each run I challenged myself with adding miles and keeping the momentum. Challenge complete! Today was my long run of 13 miles and I was 20 seconds below my time needed for a full marathon. Pace of 8:33...WITH 2 miles warm-up...
I am still overwhelmed and still trying to soak it all in. A BQ finally feels within my reach. Now to work harder and keep that pace and get these legs even stronger! I do have to stop periodically but I try to keep the stop no more than 30 seconds but I know eventually that will subside and I'm sure if I ran a half marathon race right now I would probably keep on trucking to the finish on sheer adrenaline.

I've fixed my nutrition this week as well which has helped me to recover immensely each day. No more breads or pastas or even a sweet snack. All energy fuel for my body. I'm helping the banana companies a lot... Each night I have been massaging my quads and hamstrings with Hammer balm and then using my happy stick to get the entire leg. It feels great and refreshes my legs. I've been staying on top of my protein intake and taking my tissue rejuvenator's regularly.

I've also found the perfect match for my feet, FINALLY! My Brooks Ghost 2's and balega socks. No blisters and I still have all my toenails!

I don't know what else to say except that I am extremely happy about my breakthrough in my running. I have been saying a short prayer just before every run this week. What can I say?

God is listening. A little faith, prayer, and courage goes a long way.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Training week 3 - Emotions

So this week was a low mileage week due to uncontrollable circumstances...but I still had a real good 5 miler that I pounded out a mgp and a sub mgp by 20 seconds for the mile. I wasn't going to let mother nature slow me down too much! Anyway, it was also a week that had me thinking. Today I was chatting with my coach and helped boost my confidence again (thanks Mickey).

When I first started running I was not this addicted, this competitive, nor did I have the desire to run Boston until after my second marathon. Then I looked into it and saw that I have to run a marathon at a 8:35 pace. I doubted but felt somewhere inside me that I should push with all I've got and go for it. I've had my up days and my down days. I've had days in a row where I couldn't run do to me being sick, kids being sick, or me studying my arse off for classes. Well, this summer I wanted to get a lot of training in and so far I am doing much better but I still get that self doubt sometimes. The self doubt that maybe I can't hit that mgp for the distance. The doubt that maybe I just don't have what it takes. I feel that doubt when I do a run that when my legs are tired they can't get below a 9:30 pace. I know they need to have that stamina come race day and to have the stamina to go even faster. But then there are those days that I hit my mark and hit it good and in the middle of my run I think about my qualifying race the last few miles coming up and over Diamond Head, and then I get tears in my eyes. I remember the feeling of accomplishment just to cross and finish and how wonderful it was. I want to have the feeling of crossing the finish with that 3:45 finish time. It seems impossible to me right now but I want to do it. My coach reminded me today that what you want is not always easy to get and you have to be willing to work hard and sacrifice. I have to use every available minute to my advantage. Which for me means to wake my butt up on time and get out the door to get my miles in. I have also failed on my nutrition a little the past few weeks by eating more bread/pasta than I should be. I know they are empty carbs. So why the heck am I letting myself eat it instead of energy efficient fuel??

I have to overcome my self doubt. I have to turn that energy around and put it into my run. I have to push my body and make it work harder. I was thinking today of my marathon last year and what my body was going through. After taking medicine for two days prior to the race, no matter how much I rehydrated, it wasn't enough. I ran from mile 8 to the finish line severely dehydrated. Wondering at mile 13 if I was even going to be able to finish safely, at mile 16 coming to the turn around point and playing the mental game, at mile 18 getting recharged and getting back to a 9:30 pace, at mile 19 hitting my 9 mile pace, at mile 23, hitting a 8:30 pace. Running simply to get to each aid station to guzzle 16oz of water. I finished with a 25 minute PR. If I can do that with my body then I have to be able to do this right? I cannot let obstacles hold me back. I have to overcome them, at least the ones that just involve me and not my family.

I have a dream of running Boston. I don't do things for myself. I just pray for the chance to run Boston and this next April is going to be my best hope. After that I will be searching for medical schools and once I'm in that program all my energy has to be devoted to learning to take care of others so running will still be a part of me but I won't have the time or availability to run Boston. The opportunity for me to qualify is at my front door. What happens with that opportunity is now up to me.

My heart wants it. I just want that one moment of personal victory.

I live. I dream. I run.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Training week 2

This week was by far my most successful week EVER in training!! I logged a total of 69 miles, 38 of them running in a 4 day period. Never before have my legs been able to endure those miles in that short time frame. The most in 4 days was 28 miles. I can't believe it! I had two cross-training days where I did a hour on the cycle and worked my legs over on the weight machines. I've been trying to increase strength particularly in my hamstrings after some serious soreness last week. This week? Just fatigue on the legs, no major soreness. I've also been adding yoga to my daily routine and swimming if my day allows it. I also added a couple new core exercises that left me sore for about 3 days, lol! But they are good.

Day 1 of my four day running stint was a 10 miler and a nice one at that. I ran the first 5 for pace control and a 9:30 and the last 5 I let my legs go and I was at a 9 or below the whole time. :) Day 2, another 10 miler but a little easier. Day 3, I was scheduled for another 10 but made it 14 since hubby was going to have to be working that night and wouldn't be home until around 8:30-9am the next day. So I ran my 14 and it was tough but I hung in there. Pace stayed around 9:45 most of the time but I was okay when I was at a 10pace. I woke up knowing it was going to be a bugger of a run so pace was not my goal. The night of day 3 I gave my quads an ice massage, put ice under my hamstrings and used a tennis ball to massage my feet. I also rubbed in Hammer balm into my quads about 10 minutes each before I fell asleep. Day 4, I woke up, at some oatmeal and went for a short run when hubby got home at 8:30. It was VERY hot and sunny the whole time. My legs surprised me though. I held between 9 and 9:30 and went for 4 miles. I could have done another 2 but the heat was bad so I had to stop for safety reasons.

I am very proud of myself this week. My cross-training and nutrition and care for my legs has shown with the miles I put on them in 4 days. I'm getting stronger and soon I will be getting faster and these runs will be getting easier.

Monday is a rest day for me but I'm sure I will still squeeze in some laps at the pool and my yoga. I am very grateful to God for giving my legs the power this week. I look forward to the weeks to come!

To succeed, you must believe. (and I do!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer training week 1

Well, I've finally gotten into a groove with my summer training after a week of a stomach virus that kept me down. But...this week I logged a total of 49 miles, 14 were cycling miles. I swam, I ran, I cycled, I did weights, I did yoga. I felt great and I can see the improvement that the crosstraining has given me. My schedule is challenging with Rick's work schedule but I juggle it pretty good now that I found a gym where my kids can have a play area while I exercise. They are troopers too! I had a total of a hour and a half in the gym one day last week so I was able to do a hour on the treadmill and a half hour with weights. Then I come home, eat lunch and take them to the pool while I do laps. It all works out great and I'm loving it all!

Yesterday I did a 9.5 mile run and it was my fastest so far. I averaged a pace of 9:03 and I think if my warm up lap would have been faster I would have been sub 9. I was below a 9 pace 95% of my run and even went below my mgp of 8:35 and hit an average of 8:31 on mile 8.

Today's run was not as fast because my hamstrings were sore from yesterday but still a good run. I think I had at least 2 miles sub 9, 99% of the time but then I got tuckered out in my legs so I eased up.

It was a very successful week and I am happy with my results. It's weeks like these and runs like yesterday's that encourage me and help me believe in myself. I always think of what I have to do to qualify for Boston while I run and it helps me. All I can do is my best in training with what time and opportunity I have available to me.

It is a challenge for me but this is one week down and successful!

I live. I dream. I run.